My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
I really expected to love Beach Read . Granted, I go into every book I read for pleasure expecting to enjoy it and sometimes it just doesn’t pan out. However, the blurb lead me to expect a bright, fluffy, and fun beach romance with bickering and interesting characters. That’s not what this book is, so if the blurb and the cover are what make you want to read this, you might want to reconsider.
Taking Beach Read (do they ever even get to the beach?) for what it is – a story of a woman recovering from the death of a parent and having her worldview shattered by secrets that have been revealed – it still wasn’t a book I could get through. It’s not horrible and Emily Henry’s writing itself is fine, but it’s something much more annoying to me: aggressively bland. I couldn’t get into the story, never grew attached to January, and didn’t feel any chemistry between January and Gus. I liked Gus, thought he was an interesting character who I’d like to learn more about. But Beach Read is January’s book and she’s…annoying. I like a flawed heroine but was kind of expecting January to grow from the purse wine-loving, self-pity champ she started out to be. By the halfway point she was slightly better, but I grew irritated with her inner dialogue, her immaturity, and how self-centered her viewpoint had become. She’s not a horrible person, but I simply didn’t care about her and dear heaven this book dragged because of that. I finally had to give up because I simply didn’t care. Not about January, not about her father’s secret, not about the cult she and Gus were investigating, and not about the love story. I felt like the book would never end and when I hit the halfway point I was so depressed about having to continue slogging through it that I finally quit.
I do want to highlight the parts of the book that really stood out in a good way, which were the times when January and Gus were discussing writing. Those all-too-brief moments were what kept me going through the first half of the book and Ms. Henry’s writing shines in those passages.
Beach Read just wasn’t the book for me. However, I’m in a very small minority at this point so take that for what it’s worth.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.